Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Josefa and her children.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Josefa and her children, abandoned 3 times, sleeping on cardboard

Josefa Xep Twis works the land and weaves cloth and clothing by hand, in order to earn whatever she can. With just a second grade education, she has never been able to earn enough to support herself, and has found herself again and again in the all-too-common situation of relying on a man for support--a situation which has left her vulnerable to all types of abuse.  Josefa's first husband left her for another woman soon after their third child was born, leaving her and the children to struggle on their own for survival. 7 years later she met another man, who offered to help support her and her children.  It was an offer she could not refuse, and he became her second husband.  They had a child together, followed by 4 consecutive miscarriages, before he also left her for another woman, plunging the family back into desperate circumstances, with one new mouth to feed.  Not surprisingly, the cycle repeated itself; several years later, she met her third husband, and became pregnant with her son Miguel, who is now 4.  Miguel's father, too, abandoned her while she was pregnant, and the economic help she had hoped for disappeared.

Throughout all these trying times, Josefa and her five children have survived on what little she has earned from her weaving and working in the fields. Luckily, they have found shelter with Josefa's sister, who lets Josefa and her children live in a one-room house that she owns.

Josefa's 3 oldest children are all married with children of their own, but 11 year old Cristina and 3 year old Miguel still live with their mother in the one-room borrowed home.  They share this tiny space with very few material possessions. They all sleep together on pieces of cardboard on the dirt floor. They do not own a single item of furniture. They cook in the same room that they live and sleep in, using whatever wood they can find or buy, so the room is always filled with smoke--a situation that badly affects the family's lungs and eyes.

Though Cristina is now 11 years old, she has never been to school--she works as a domestic, and contributes her tiny salary to the family. We would love to get her in school as soon as possible, but the process has been complicated by the fact that she has never been registered officially in Guatemala, and has no birth certificate or documentation, which she needs to enroll in school. We hope that we will be able to help Cristina start her education next year.

Her brother Miguel will turn 4 this year, and we would like to ensure that he has the opportunity for an education. If you would like to sponsor Miguel, please email cristina[at]mayanfamilies[dot]org and request to sponsor Miguel, student #1841.

The family would also benefit greatly from donations of a bed, any furniture, and/or food.  To help them, please go to the donate now page, scroll down to the family aid box and enter FA 126 as the family name.

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